There is, at first, a crumble — giving up an hour of yoga to help the kids with homework; shaving off a few days of exercise to deliver a project on time; zapping a weekend you meant to spend hiking on cleaning the house — and next thing you know, you’ve slipped. You’re feeling exhausted, unable to recharge, out of breath, out of energy. One way to gain back those needed moments for yourself is to pack up, feed the cat, kiss your family, and take off. Whether you like to relax, or to train for a serious grind, these retreats will put you back on the road to feeling good again. Grab your journal, mat, favorite wine, and head out into the woods.
The Lopez Island Women’s Retreat, Lopez Island, firstname.lastname@example.org, 888.314.6140
Lopez Island is one of the ferry-served islands in the San Juans, making this retreat accessible, yet still remote enough for maximum relaxation. This retreat is three days of yoga, biking, pilates, and kayaking. Finish off all of that activity with a massage and wine-tasting, because it doesn’t all have to be work.
The graceful MacKaye Harbor Inn hosts this women’s retreat. The inn features wraparound porches and comfy accommodations, as well as spectacular water views. They also keep a collection of bicycles and kayaks, which are free for visitors. They offer wholesome food and plenty of amenities. For retreats, there are lots of spaces to relax and meditate, yoga spaces, and fresh sea breezes to help you fill your lungs with goodness. Prices range from $1235 to $1745. Those who fall in love with Lopez can also join in the Tour de Lopez, a noncompetitive bike event in April.
The Sakya Kachod Choling Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center, San Juan Island, sakya-retreat.net, 360.378.4058
This year-round meditation and teaching center is located on 20 acres of land on San Juan Island. It is run under the guidance of H.E. Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche, who wanted to provide a retreat center for her students. Though she teaches anyone who wishes to learn about Buddhism, she specializes in education for women.
Drawing prominent teachers from varying disciplines of Buddhism in addition to their own excellent staff, the retreats and sessions at this center are highly regarded. They are suited for individuals or groups, depending on the program.
The quiet, temple-like setting is ideal for excellent waterside strolls, contemplative meditation, and appreciation of the natural world. The center conducts both its own workshops, and is rented for workshops by outside groups. The center also hosts regular potlucks, meditation sessions, and many volunteer opportunities.
Peaceful Mountain Retreat Center, Maple Falls, peacefulmountain.net, 360.599.9988
Founded and run by Rod Williams, the Peaceful Mountain Retreat Center is tucked away in the foothills of Mount Baker in the tiny town of Maple Falls. Williams woke one morning inspired by the vision of an octagonal house with an open atrium in the center, and he worked hard to make the vision come to life. The center is designed for groups, with large, comfortable shared accommodations. There are on-site resources, like floor cushions, chairs, audio
and digital aids, and other items. There are large spaces for groups, a large kitchen and dining area, and smaller areas for more intimate gatherings as well. Amenities at the center include a sauna, fitness room, and the foothills of Mount Baker — ideal for hiking, biking, and running. Catering is also available.
Whatcom Falls Retreat whatcomfallsretreat.com, 360.734.1724
Tastefully appointed and amenity-loaded, this retreat center is geared for groups. They do not provide workshops, nor do they have a teaching staff, but those looking to gather are welcome here. Set against the beauty of Whatcom Falls Park near Lake Whatcom, this pastoral retreat center has both ample indoor and outdoor spaces.
Owner and builder Erik Moore manages the property, and keeps it absolutely picture-perfect. Rates range from $500 a night to $8000 a month, depending on your needs. Rates are based on an occupancy of eight.